OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

In first major act of academic restructuring, OSU names executive deans

11/02/2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. –Oregon State University named four “executive deans” on Monday to oversee four new academic divisions approved earlier this fall to provide a new organizational framework for OSU’s existing 11 colleges.

The announcement of the deans is the first step in implementation of a division structure that university leaders believe will create coalitions with the “necessary assets” to advance OSU’s strategic plan and move the institution closer to its goal of becoming one of America’s leading land-grant universities. The divisional change is part of OSU’s Strategic Alignment and Budget Reduction Implementation Plan.

In their first year, the executive deans will collaborate with academic deans to create a vision and goals for each division, as well as plans for modification, consolidation, elimination, creation or realignment of degree programs, departments, centers and institutes. Decisions regarding all of the above, with the exception of degree programs, are targeted for implementation beginning in July 2010. Degree program implementation will begin in September.

OSU’s seven-member Advisory Council on Budget and Strategic Priorities, created last year to make critical recommendations on financial and organizational matters in light of ongoing public funding challenges that have cut deeply into the university’s operating budget, recommended the divisions last spring, and President Ed Ray approved them in October.  All of OSU’s college deans, who will continue to administer their colleges under the division plan, support the new structure.

“Our strategic planning processes over the past year have led us to this place, and because of that, our academic leaders are well prepared to move into this exciting new phase of our work,” said Ray. “We believe the new division framework will not only encourage even deeper collaboration than the cross-disciplinary work for which our faculty is already well known, but guide us in making decisions during the current budget challenges that will both address current realities and serve us well over the long term.

“The executive deans we’re announcing today will be chiefly responsible for marshalling these transformational efforts.”

The new divisions, included in each and respective executive deans are:

  • Division of Arts and Science - colleges of Education, Liberal Arts, Science; Executive Dean Lawrence Rodgers (dean of the College of Liberal Arts);
  • Division of Earth Systems Science - colleges of Agricultural  Sciences, Forestry, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences;  Executive Dean Hal Salwasser (dean of the College of Forestry);
  • Division of Health Sciences - colleges of Health and Human Sciences,  Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine; Executive Dean Tammy Bray (dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences); and
  • Division of Business and Engineering - Executive Dean Ron Adams (dean of the College of Engineering).

Rodgers, Salwasser, Bray and Adams have 30 years between them in academic leadership at OSU. They also bring to their new duties considerable experience from other universities, government agencies and private industry. While their appointments to the new positions are effective immediately, each will continue to serve as leader of his/her respective college.

Provost/Executive Vice President Sabah Randhawa praised them for their willingness to serve and provide leadership on “the University’s most pressing needs and opportunities.” But he also cautioned that meeting those challenges may uncover new issues to address along the way.

“Implementation of the divisional model is a significant departure from the college-based leadership model used in the past,” said Randhawa. “Because this is a new direction for the University, it is recognized that ideas, relationships and leadership will evolve, necessitating that goals and processes will be adjusted as learning occurs.”

Randhawa added that while collaboration within and between divisions will be the hallmark characteristic of the new structures, it is hoped that college identities, missions and visions will be maintained within the divisions.

More information on the Advisory Council on Budgets and Strategic Priorities and the Strategic Alignment and Budget Reduction Implementation Plan for 2009-2011 is available online.

 

Additional background: Executive Deans

Division of Business and Engineering - Executive Dean Ron Adams

An OSU alumnus with a doctorate in mechanical engineering earned in 1977, Adams has been dean of the College of Engineering at OSU since 1998. An expert in fluid mechanics, aerodynamics and fluidized bed heat transfer, he has held a number of positions in academia and private industry, including work with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and U.S. Air Force. Adams worked in various positions at Oregon-based Tektronix, Inc., first leading their jet physics group and eventually becoming vice president of technology and a senior Tektronix fellow. A headshot of Adams is available via Flickr.

 

Division of Health Sciences – Executive Dean Tammy Bray

Bray was named dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences in March 2002 after having served as an associate dean and department chair at The Ohio State University for the previous seven years. During her career, she has attracted more than $8 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other sources and has published more than one hundred articles in peer-reviewed journals and written two books, including a food guide for cancer patients, “Champions in the Kitchen - Good Food for Healthful Living.” She holds a Ph.D. in nutrition and biochemistry from Washington State University. A headshot of Bray is available via Flickr.

 

Division of Arts and Science – Executive Dean Lawrence Rodgers

A former associate dean at Kansas State University, Rodgers was named dean of the OSU College of Liberal Arts in 2008. Rodgers was a faculty member, department head and administrator in Kansas State’s College of Arts and Sciences over the prior two decades. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Liberal Arts at OSU has more than 200 faculty members in 13 departments, and more than 3,000 students pursue one of the 19 majors offered by the college. A headshot of Rodgers is available via Flickr.

 

Division of Earth Systems Science – Executive Dean Hal Salwasser

Salwasser was named dean of the OSU College of Forestry in 2000 and is also director of the Oregon Forest Research Laboratory. He received his doctorate in wildland resource science from the University of California, has published more than 80 professional papers and co-edited two books on natural resource issues and currently serves on the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry. Salwasser has held numerous career positions with the U.S. Forest Service, including service as the regional forester in the Northern Rockies and research station director in California in the 1990s. A headshot of Salwasser is available via Flickr.